Euphemisms, acronyms and outright lies: The language of war

For decades, politicians referred to the Korean War as the ‘Korean Conflict,’ as if the soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the disputed peninsula were somehow less soldierly or less dead if killed by conflict rather than war. Some 2.5 million people died in the Koreas between 1950 and 1953, including...
  • Eight Cantleys and one Cantlie in the First World War

    March 19, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Of 619,636 Canadians recruited during the First World War, there were 7,432 Smiths and 148 Smyths, 2,965 McDonalds and 1,646 MacDonalds, 2,342 Johnsons and 1,532 Johnstons. There were 1,797 Stewarts and 294 Stuarts, 1,220 McLeans and 310 MacLeans. There were just eight Cantleys and one...
  • Women to support women on gruelling Arctic trek

    March 13, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    As vice-president of training, learning and development at Mackenzie Investments, Libby McCready spends her days in meetings, on the phone, corralling e-mails and delivering presentations. If all goes as planned, in a month’s time she will be completing a 100-kilometre trek across Baffin Island in...
  • I’ve got your back

    March 6, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    There is an adage that is embraced by all the military, but especially the infantry: I’ve got your back. It’s fundamental to any successful endeavour against an enemy in battle. But who’s got your back when the battlefield is life and the enemy is yourself?...
  • The medic’s trauma book

    February 27, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    “They cannot knock on your house door, take you by the hand and bring you to the clinic. If you don’t ask for help, nobody will come.” Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne As a member of 5 Field Ambulance in Afghanistan, medic Macha...
  • Always the first one to know

    February 20, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    “Sometimes it’s going to be a smell. Sometimes it’s going to be a sound,” says Hélène LeScelleur. “And then it reminds me of the horror that we’ve been through.” Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne “Seeing people decapitated, it’s not that usual for anyone,”...
  • For all the talk of the talking in director Peter Jackson’s First World War documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, it’s a scene in which those featured in the film don’t say anything that resonates perhaps more than any other. It comes at the storyline’s...
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